Shopping should be part and parcel of your vacation itinerary.
When you’re on holiday in a country you’ve never visited before, shopping is another way of getting to know the place on a deeper level. Buying keepsakes, food souvenirs, clothes, accessories, toys, and other products made by locals and unique to the area allows you to learn more about the local culture, history, and heritage.
If you find shopping relaxing, you should add it to your list of things to do during your vacation to de-stress and enjoy some “me time.”
Hopping from one shop to another at a mall, shopping centers, and street markets also allows you to get some much-needed exercise, which you may not get enough while you’re on holiday. Previous research shows that you can lose at least 463 calories whenever you engage in retail therapy.
With these benefits in mind, shopping in Doha should be part of your itinerary when you go on vacation to Qatar.
Getting the Most From Your Shopping Spree in Qatar
Whether it’s your first time to have your holiday in Qatar or you’re already a frequent visitor here, follow these tips and tricks to get more from your shopping spree and enjoy every minute of it:
1. Set a budget.
Although going on vacation is a great excuse to splurge on new clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and souvenirs, it doesn’t mean you should use all your savings or the money you set aside for your holiday only on shopping.
Setting an amount you are comfortable with for your shopping spree before going on your vacation allows you to prioritize your purchases. It will also help you avoid worrying about credit card bills or overspending during your holiday.
If you don’t have any idea how much you want to spend, you should at least know your thresholds or the amount you’re willing to pay for each item you need to buy.
It is also best to know the exchange rate and bank or credit card conversion fees if you are going to a country with a different currency. Doing so lets you know if you can save money by buying certain things on your vacation or if it is cheaper to purchase them locally.
Researching this beforehand also lets you prepare for any additional charges you have to pay when you get back home.
2. Create a shopping list.
Impulse buying is often unavoidable when you’re shopping during your vacation. There will always be a souvenir or accessory that will catch your eye and you’ll want to purchase on the spot.
Although buying one or two things on a whim is fine, curb this habit during your holiday if you are an impulsive buyer. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself going beyond your budget and purchasing things you’ll regret getting later on.
You can minimize your impulse buying by making a shopping list before going on vacation.
Make a list of all the items you want to buy in Qatar. Be as specific as possible, which means writing the brand, size, and number of things you need to purchase.
3. Figure out which pieces you want to add to your wardrobe.
When adding fashion pieces to your shopping list, take a quick inventory of your wardrobe first and list the specific garments, footwear, jewelry, and accessories you need.
This is another way of minimizing your impulse purchases and ensuring you buy something you need and use once you get back home.
This simple trick also allows you to create a realistic budget and stick with it.
Buying something you actually need while on vacation can make you appreciate the purchase more. And whenever you use it, you will remember the wonderful time you spent in Qatar.
4. Buy from local artisans as much as possible.
Research local brands and products you can only purchase in Qatar or the Middle East before your trip and prioritize buying them.
Keep in mind that discovering unique products and the artists and makers that give the country local and authentic flavor is one of the best things about traveling. As such, be on the lookout for these craft workers and their works of art.
Most of the time, you can buy these items at the street markets or souks in Qatar.
However, you’ll also find plenty of authentic local products at independent boutiques and homegrown retail stores in malls, so visit these places too.
If you don’t want to spend too much time searching for local products, look them up and the stores that sell them online. You can then go directly to them when you’re ready to shop.
5. Set aside enough time for shopping.
You won’t fully enjoy your shopping spree in Qatar if you only dedicate an hour or two to exploring the mall and street markets.
Because of this, try to give yourself plenty of time to wander around the best shopping places here.
If you’re planning a long holiday, consider dedicating a day for your shopping trip to visit more shops.
Spending an entire morning or afternoon going to the malls and markets is another option. This will give you more time to explore and find the exact items you’re looking for.
6. Don’t miss opportunities to save money.
Even if you have set a large budget for your shopping spree in Qatar, always be on the lookout for ways to save money.
Go online and look for malls and shops holding sales in Qatar. Many shopping centers and retail stores have seasonal or year-long deals or promos, so take advantage of these to save a few bucks.
If you know which malls and stores you want to shop at, visit their websites or download their apps before heading out. Aside from knowing whether they have a sale, you may get vouchers or discounts and promo codes that’ll let you get more bang for the buck.
Ask the sales staff at the shops for any deals or promos they have that they may not advertise but can give to their in-store customers.
When shopping at souks, try to haggle with the sellers as well. Some can be very generous and give you large discounts and a few freebies.
And even if the vendors can’t give you a huge discount, the small amount you’ll get can still help you save some money, which you can use for buying other things.
Shopping can complete and make your vacation in Qatar more memorable.
When you follow these tips and tricks, you can get more from this part of your trip and have a fun and rewarding experience.